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Denver becomes one of several United States cities to ban cat declawing

15 November 2017

A proposal to officially ban cat declawing in Denver was unanimously approved by city council on Monday night.

The measure was first introduced by Councilwoman Kendra Black.

Kirsten Butler, a veterinary technician, said she no longer participates in the procedures. They credit the procedure for improvements their cats' indoor behavior, with less scratching of furniture and home interiors.

The bill applies only to elective declawing.

"A decision to declaw a cat is affected by many human and animal factors", said Andre, a practicing veterinarian.

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Declawing, or onychectomy, is the operation to remove an animal's claws surgically.

In the USA, declawing is prohibited in the cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Berkeley, Beverly Hills, Culver City, West Hollywood, and Burbank. It also must be done a by a licensed veterinarian who uses anesthesia. Bans also are common in other countries, including Australia, Israel, Brazil, Japan and across much of Europe.

Eight cities in California, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, have passed bans on declawing.

Declawing, or onychectomy, is an amputation and should be regarded as a major surgery, according to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation.

While critics worry that the action could result in people surrendering more cats to shelters, supporters note that California cities who have similar legislation in place have not seen spikes in cat intakes at shelters.

Denver becomes one of several United States cities to ban cat declawing